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Animals in Modern Life


Published 1937


Contributions of animals to the life of modern man, principally as transporters and as food.


Run time 11:00
Producer ERPI Classroom Films, Inc.
Sponsor N/A
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

Contributions of animals to the life of modern man.
Begins with views of prehistoric man, as the commentator describes his need for defense against larger animals. As scenes of a herd of goats and of a prehistoric man gnawing a bone are shown, the commentator says that animals have long been a source of food. A man is shown riding a horse -- this advance enabled him to travel great distances. Following pictures of a variety of animals, graphs contrast the 50 domesticated animals with the 500,000 species in existence. Chickens are seen as the commentator describes their part in providing man with food. Milk from goats and cows illustrates another source of man's food. Beef cattle are shown in a Chicago stockyard on the way to the slaughterhouse. Meat products are loaded into trucks and refrigerator cars to be sent to all parts of the country.
That the sea provides man with large amounts of food is illustrated by scenes of fish being hauled aboard a vessel. They tumble to the deck, are sorted and packed in ice. Cans of salmon are shown on a conveyor and on store shelves. The work of the bee in furnishing man with honey is illustrated by views of these insects filling beehive combs. A harmful animal, the fly, rests first on a garbage can and then on a baby's milk bottle.
Silkworms are shown as a source of material for cloth. Mature cocoons are heated in water, softened, and unwound. The chief silk-producing and silk-manufacturing countries of the world are pointed out on the globe. Silk is unloaded and sent to a factory, where it is made into various products.
Sheep are sheared as the commentator states that for many centuries people have used wool as a material from which to make warm clothing. Types of such clothing made for different weather conditions are shown. Sheep dogs aid a shepherd in caring for his flocks. Other dogs point game, guide blind men across streets, and pull carts and sleds. Reindeer, donkeys, ponies, and race horses are shown. Draft horses, camels, cows, oxen, and water buffaloes are shown doing the heavy work of plowing and carrying burdens.
As views of a fiat map of the world are shown, the commentator states that even today nearly four-fifths of the people of the earth depend upon animal power to assist them in their work. The film concludes with scenes that indicate the manner in which powerful machines may be used to replace animals.


Appraisal. Reported good for showing (1) the uses man makes of animals in supplying food, clothing, and transportation, and (2) the physical characteristics of a large variety of domesticated animals.
Some primary teachers reported that the film was too complicated for their purpose. This criticism was not noted at other grade levels. Teachers and students expressed interest in the chart showing that out of the 500,000 species of animals only 50 have been domesticated.
Photography is fair, sound good.

ZOOLOGY ANIMALS NATURAL HISTORY FOOD CLOTHING ENERGY SPECIES DOMESTICATION
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Reviews

Reviewer: Christine Hennig - - July 20, 2003
Subject: Animals in Modern Life
Dry ERPI film about the various uses of animals by human beings. There is a great variety here of animals and animal products shown, but they are presented in a seemingly random order, without rhyme or reason. Kids probably did a lot of fidgeting during this sort of film.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ***. Overall Rating: **.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - December 27, 2002
Subject: The magic of stock footage.
This is a pretty standard documentary about how animals are used for many uses in America. This film however, is totally on the cheap side as it relies on a LOT of stock footage. Even though this was made in 1937, there's clearly stock footage from earlier then that, from the late 1920's in my estimation. No sweeping music, just the narrator talking, and pretty basic images make for a somewhat blah curiousity.
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